Ah, small town America. Is there anything more wholesome, healthy (mind wise, that is) and corny than a small town celebration for whatever reason the the Chamber of Commerce committee can conjure up. You know there has to be a committee, which is usually headed by the wife of the mayor, or some such local poohbah whom everybody knows and likes and with whom everyone can feel important when given the chance to stand next her or him, preferably on a stage with a microphone in hand. I want to be both all inclusive and politically correct here here which means that in this new era of legal gay marriage, the wife of the mayor or the poohbah chosen to head the committee could very well be a man or woman. That’s surprisingly progressive for a small town, since around here, gays and other minorities and ethnicities are fairly rare and are generally looked upon as exotic creatures until you get to know them and realize they are as into life in small town America as you are.
But I digress. The whole point of this exercise is to laud the organizers of this year’s Midnight Madness here in the stereotypical small town America we mentioned at the top of this treatise.
It seems that every suggested outdoor and indoor activity that anyone had ever heard about or seen at similar events in other small towns was given serious consideration before being given serious inclusion in the evening’s program. Even second or third hand knowledge of the event, without actual first hand knowledge of how the event was staged was worthy of a pat on the back. For those unable to convince the committee that theirs was a winner that citizens would flock to and relive the results repeatedly until next year's reiteration of the experience got only an” attaboy”and “nice try” and “see you next year.”
So what we're all the activities that drew the happy crowds of fun seekers to this small town for the festivities? Normally, since the Midnight Madness event is held at this time year, there is the reasonable expectation of snow. Many of the fun activities are snow dependent and the lack of snow required an adjustment. The horse drawn sleigh rides became wagon rides. The sled dog pull had the dogs slogging through mud. The lake as of now is unfrozen so the ice skating area was unavailable. Somehow the decorated sled contest seemed out of place with no snow to glide on. But even though this would have been more fun with the snow, nobody seemed to mind being outside and not freezing their butts off.
Santa was, of course, on hand to make it an official Christmas celebration. But he dampened the spirit of the occasion by allowing only professional photos to be taken. By one of his elves naturally. I think old Santa had a nice little lucrative racket going there. He did do the obligatory Santa wave during the parade though so the kids were happy.
No one who wandered around town went home without gaining a few extra pounds. Every restaurant and bar pushed food at anyone within reach. Even the staunchest dieter would have to give in to the smorgasbord arrayed before them. You can resume dieting tomorrow. Tonight enjoy.
The marketplace craft fair was the perfect place to pick up the usual trotchkes that you would only give to your least favorite aunt or cousin. The sellers were doing a brisk business, so there must be a lot of disliked relatives out there who will be disappointed again this year.
What would a civic celebration be without fireworks. I know, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. But there is something about seeing your town’s fireworks that makes all those oohs and ahs genuine and prideful. The fireworks only lasted for 10 minutes (that stuff is expensive), but they were sufficiently loud and bright that we could see them from our condo across the lake.
Ok, so you caught me. How could I see the fireworks from my condo across the lake if I was in town participating in the festivities? Even though we were enjoying a string of unseasonably warm temperatures, it was still too cold for my skinny butt to be out there, so I made it all up.